Philippines’ one million-plus mom-and-pop stores—called sari-sari stores—carry the potential for a major distribution channel. Yet, not many companies have dared to solve the ugliest, but most important aspect of the sari-sari business: inventory procurement.

“Restocking is the most inconvenient thing,” sari-sari store owner Corazon Alberto, 52, tells The Ken. “You’d have to close your store to buy goods, spend for the commute, and carry the shopping bags all by yourself.”

Growsari, a startup launched in 2016, was among the first to give it a shot. On its app, stores can browse through 600 stock-keeping units (SKUs) of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and place an order.

AUTHOR

Jum Balea

Jum is a Manila-based reporter for The Ken, where she covers startups and business across Southeast Asia, with a focus on the Philippines. She previously was editor for Tech In Asia, and business editor for Philippine media companies Rappler and ABS-CBN.

View Full Profile

Sign up to our Southeast Asia edition to read this story instantly

To sign up, you’ll create an account that will give you access to a new free story published once a week and archive of previously published free stories from our Southeast Asia edition. You’ll also receive one email every morning from us introducing the day’s story.

If you’ve already signed up, just enter your email below or login using Facebook or Google.